YouTube today is launching a new sharing feature in its mobile app, previously in testing with users in select marketplaces. The feature permits YouTube users to send their friends videos and chats from within a new tab in the mobile app effectively turning YouTube into a mobile messenger of sorts.
The feature has been in testing since the middle of last year, and, at the beginning of 2017, rolled out to users in Canada as something of a soft launching. It afterward expanded to parts of Latin America, the company tells us.
Following the feedback gain access to these long-term initial exams, YouTube felt it was ready to debut the sharing feature to a global audience. That roll out begins today, but wont reach all YouTube users worldwide for a few days. In other terms, if you dont find the sharing alternative yet just wait, you will soon.
Since its debut in exams, YouTube says it has made some slight changes to the user interface for sharing, including the way the chat interface appears to users, and it constructed the video stick to the top of the chat when scrolling down. It also introduced the ability to allow replying and chatting while users are watching a video, which dedicates the feature more of a real-time feel. However, it hasnt run as far as to integrate the emoji responses and co-viewing may be in the companys experimental YouTube app, called YouTube Uptime .
However, YouTube says that more improvements will be rolled out in time.
The idea behind the sharing features development is to transition some of the social activity that takes place around videos including the sharing of links and chats about the video themselves back into YouTube instead of other messaging apps. Its unclear if it will be successful in that regard. People favor mobile messengers already have their established social graphs, and YouTube is having to build its social network of peoples family members or friends from scratch.
The feature itself is easy to use perhaps too easy. While it allows you to find friends from your phones Address Book, theres currently no way to block petitions from those you dont know. You can, of course, deny those requests, but for public figure or those whose name or contact information is more freely available, this can be a problem. I had access to the feature while in testing, and found that I had a slew of incoming petitions from strangers, for example and this was before the public launch.
In addition to sharing videos and chatting, YouTube users can also reply to videos they obtain with other videos, or even a heart. Group sharing with up to 30 people is supported, too.
The feature is constructing its route to YouTube on both iOS and Android, to users worldwide.
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